St. Thomas married, he knew that was God’s will for him. His wife was a simple woman who could not even read or write, but Thomas patiently tried to teach her. She loved him and her four children very much and did all she could to make her brilliant husband happy. People liked to pay visits to the More family. One of the young children there read from the Bible during meals. Then they would have fun telling jokes and making each other laugh. St. Thomas often had poorer neighbors to dinner, too, because he always helped the poor as much as he could. This saint loved to delight his guest with great surprises- he even kept some playful monkeys as pets! Yet no once knew that such a merry man always wore a painful hair shirt and practiced other severe mortifications.
St. Thomas held a number of important offices under the King, Henry VIII. He was his favorite and sometimes the King put his arm affectionately around Thomas’ shoulder. Yet, although the Saint was a most loyal subject, he was loyal to God first of all. In fact, when the King tried to make him disobey God’s law Thomas refused. Henry wanted to obtain a divorce from his wife to marry another woman, but the Pope could not give permission, since that is against God’s law. Henry was stubborn and at last he left the Church. He wanted everyone to recognize him as the head of the Church in England, but St. Thomas was one of those who remained faithful to God. He was condemned to death for that, yet he forgave his judges and said he hoped he would see them in Heaven.
At the scaffold, where he was to die, St. Thomas kissed his executioner and then joked, saying that his beard should not be cut off because in had not done anything wrong! And so he died, this holy martyr who had said: “I am the King’s good servant, but God’s servant first.”
Like St. Thomas More, we want to be the best and most affectionate children of our Holy Mother the Church.